Population Health and Wellbeing

Population health planning is grounded in effective and meaningful community, inter-sectoral and whole-of-government partnerships. It also requires access to comprehensive and reliable information concerning the health and wellbeing of the whole population.  This includes information regarding the current prevalence and historical trends of important child and youth outcomes as well as an understanding of their main ‘up-stream’ determinants.  This is essential for the development of evidence-based policy and effective planning and co-ordination of services for all children and their families. It is also important in identifying areas and population groups with greater service and social support needs. The evidence supporting population health based policy is also vital for the design and evaluation of programs to reduce disparities between social groups and communities. 

The NHMRC Partnership Project

Improving the developmental outcomes of Northern Territory children: a datalinkage study to inform policy and practice in health, family services and education

This research partnership aims to advance scientific, policy and community understanding of the main drivers of developmental disadvantage in the Northern Territory (NT). It will build data-linkage infrastructure combining data usually retained separately by health, education, child protection and justice agencies to enable integrated service planning and monitoring of outcomes maximising collective efficacy in reducing gaps between Indigenous and other children’s health, education and other life outcomes.

Probabilistic record-linkage will combine longitudinal service data from these agencies on over 60,000 NT born children. These unit-record data will also be linked with community-level data enabling analyses not previously possible to investigate early life health and socio-demographic determinants of four high-prevalence developmental outcomes:

  1. Early childhood development and readiness for school learning (AEDI).
  2. School attendance, literacy and numeracy at ages 8, 10, 12 & 14 years (NAPLAN)
  3. Children’s involvement with the child protection system
  4. Youth involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Data Linkage - Current Projects

Methodologies for Generating Indices of (Dis)Advantage in the Northern Territory (NT)

Patterns of Missing Education Data

Evaluating the long-term impact of increased health expenditures at birth for at-risk children: A regression discontinuity approach

The relationship between foetal growth and developmental outcomes in NT children

Adverse maternal and infant outcomes amongst mothers and infants in the Northern Territory, 1994-2014